If there is a new Democratic president come 2021, he or she will get pulled in all sorts of policy directions. [Washington State Governor, Jay] Inslee [who announced his presidential candidacy today] says he has one priority: global warming. It’s not theoretical, or a cause just for tree huggers anymore. Putting off dealing with it for a year or two or kicking it to some new bipartisan commission won’t work, he says. He plans to focus on the threat that climate change poses to the environment and national security—the mega-storms and fires causing millions in damages, the weather changes that will cause mass migrations, the droughts that will devastate farmers in America and around the world.
Even more so, he wants to talk about the risk to American opportunity. “We have two existential threats right now: one is to our natural systems, and one is to our economic systems,” he said.
As he did in Washington State, Inslee would propose a mix of government investments and incentives to spur other investment, restrictions on power plants and emissions, and programs to promote R&D and job growth. An endless number of jobs can be created in the climate arena, Inslee says. It’s the way to make a real dent in income inequality and have the Democratic Party bring tangible solutions to communities in rural America that have been left behind. With his inaction, President Donald Trump—Inslee calls him “the commander in chief of delusion”—is engaged in a “disgusting selling-out of the country,” a “crime” against the aspirational optimism of America. [Continue reading…]
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Friday that he believes climate change could threaten economic growth.
It’s a position that puts him at odds with the Trump administration and the President himself, who has openly questioned whether the climate is warming at all.
“It’s something people should take seriously and think about,” Hassett said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow.
Hassett, an economist long involved in conventional Republican political circles, has in the past expressed support for instituting carbon taxes to curb pollution.
“I was one of the first economists writing theoretical papers about carbon taxes,” he said on Friday. “It’s literature I have been involved in for a really long time.” [Continue reading…]